Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Growing up, I had always worried about my reputation and social life over everything else. I was in the ‘in’ crowd, and I was proud of it. I got invited to the parties, got asked on the dates, competed on a dance team, and hung with the popular crowds.
That’s all that mattered. I was picky with who I surrounded myself with. If they had a lower social ranking than I did, I wouldn’t associate myself with them.

Being in university, my perspective has completely changed. The people I hang out with are the exact opposites of the low, conceited, narcissistic peers I surrounded myself with initially.

Tonight, I found myself taking back shot after shot of vodka until I was piss drunk and ready to socialize.
I went to talk to some of the people I know on the varsity hockey team, but they bored me, repeating the song “Livin’ The Dream” by Chuckie Slick…
I moved to the rich girls to have a conversation. All they did was talk about the boys or how Shannon’s hair looked like a bird’s nest. And not to mention, these girls were all dumber than a sack of bread. I asked them what they thought of the Rob Ford conspiracy, and one girl said, “Like… The truck?” I almost face palmed right there.

After wandering the halls for quite some time, I found myself talking to this one girl. She’s short, has glasses half the size of her face, and wasn’t considered ‘popular’ in the slightest. Without any intention to, we talked from 1:00am to 5:00am, without stopping. Turns out, this girl is exactly like me. We have everything in common, and we have the same sense of Humour.
We talked about our past relationships, our present crushes, our favourite pets, movies, books, and I even found out that she enjoys video gaming just as much as I do.

In high school, I wouldn’t have even considered making her my friend. But I’ve come to realize that what someone looks like, or what their social hierarchy is, it doesn’t define who they are.

Just because someone looks a certain way, doesn’t mean that they’re not the coolest person you could ever meet.
I finally understand the quote, “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover”.

Letter to Myself

Growing up, I went through every different phase you could possibly think of. I’m going through one right now, actually. Apparently I’m experiencing a ‘hipster’ phase… That’s okay, right?

Looking back on myself, my past experiences, and my choices, I wish I’d have known then the things I know now.

Dear 7 year old self,
Stop picking your nose, for starters. It’s gross. No, it’s not a habit. You just do it for shits because you know it’s nasty. So stop. Seriously.
And also, stop being so anal about your spelling tests. You’re not going to make any friends if you rub your perfect score in their faces. Actually, you’re going to push a girl too far, and she’ll rip the head off of your favourite Barbie. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, you selfish, egotistical bitch.

Dear 10 year old self,
Nick is going to start teasing you really soon because your boobs aren’t going to develop until about 14 years old. And even then, they’re mosquito bites. He’s going to call you every name in the book, but please ignore him… He has a lot of things to deal with already. Just ignore him and move on.
Don’t you dare make a “That’s what your dad said last night” joke…. That will get you in so much trouble, you have no idea. Like really, you won’t be seeing recess for about two weeks.
And stop telling people he’s gay. I’m not saying he isn’t, because he came out mid-high school, but you’re not cool by calling him out on it. You guys need to stop fighting, because you’re going to miss him in your life.

Dear 14 year old self,
Why? That’s all I have to ask. Why? Why the hell do you think that you can pull off going through a scene phase? Your hair looks greasy, and you look like a raccoon. Black is okay to wear, but not as a full outfit every single day. You look like you’re worshipping satan. That look will cost you a lot of guys… They’re scared of you. Even I’m scared of you. Please just brush out your teased hair and wash that liquid eyeliner off of your face. You look horrible and I hope you know that. I don’t hold myself responsible for what I looked like from 2000-2012….

Finally, dear my 18 year old self,
I know you love him. That feeling doesn’t go away, not even now. But please, please don’t let him destroy you. He’s going to hurt you more than you could ever even imagine, and it’s going to leave you crying in the bathroom every night. You’ll think it’s your fault, and you’ll hate yourself. Please don’t. It wasn’t your fault. He didn’t leave you after 2 years because of something you did. You did nothing wrong. Please, please stop hurting yourself mentally and physically. He’s not worth it.
He’ll come in and out of your life, but please promise me that you’ll stop him. He’s only going to destroy you even more, until it hurts to breathe. He’s going to play you, and you’re going to try to play him back, but when he puts your ring on her finger, that will break you. And you’re allowed to break down. You’re allowed to cry because I know it hurts so much. And it still does.
You’ll meet a boy named Alex, and he’ll make you smile again. Let him. Don’t turn him away because he’s not Dan. If you do, you’ll regret it. Please don’t make my mistake.
Oh and don’t invite your sister up to residence at university.. You’ll seriously regret it. Unless you have an extra $300 that you don’t need, I advise you to just spend the night with your Hockey Boy and sleep.
Seriously…. Do that. Please. Save yourself the embarrassment of what happens that night.

Sincerely, 19 year old Amanda Kelly.
Peace out home slice.

The Embarrassment of the Baby Videos

It has happened to the best of us. We wake up one day feeling fantastic until your world comes crumbling down. Someone has leaked your baby videos. And not the cute ones either. No, the hide-your-face-in-a-paper-bag-forever kind of videos.

I’ve been seeing this new guy, and I’d admit, it’s getting rather serious. So, I brought him home to meet the family.

Before I brought him home, I warned him of the chaos he was about to experience first hand. I grew up in a seven person family that doesn’t know the meaning of personal space. He listened to my warning, yet insisted he come anyways.
So, I accepted that it was his humiliation on the line, not mine.

We arrived at my house at about 12:45 in the afternoon, and we walked in to see each one of my family members lined up at the top of the stairs.

And so it begun….

The day went by rather slowly, filled with interrogating questions passed by my mom and dad, to the “Amanda used to eat butter on its own” story. Every time, that story was followed by the “Amanda once sat on a chocolate cupcake” story. I had prepared for this.

“Mum,” I said. “I think lunch is ready.”
I felt like I had just dodged a bullet. She got up from the table and walked over to the oven to take out the chicken.
“Let’s all watch a movie while we eat.” She so excitedly suggested. The eight of us piled into the living space with out plates and sat around the television. She said she had already picked out a movie. She turned on the screen, and there it was. My nightmare. My most embarrassing baby video was on the screen, and my mother was about to press play.
“Mom! I actually like Daniel!” I was certain that this incident would show him the completely fucked up side of me that I prayed he would never see.

She pressed play.

And there I was, standing naked in the middle of the room at 2 years old in pink rubber boots, sporting my bowl cut, and I began dancing to the Jungle Book soundtrack. At 2 years old, dancing consisted of shaking my booty around and flailing my arms like I was signalling for help.
I was mortified. I could just hear Daniel laughing hysterically. I shrunk into my seat and shoved my face into a pillow. This was a new low for my mom.

Baby videos are capable of a lot more than you’d think. They’re not only for bringing back old memories of the ‘good ‘ol days’, but also to completely destroy one’s self image.
My mother had completely sabotaged me through a baby video.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only video she played that afternoon. Daniel also saw when I pretended to be a horse, and ran around the room with nothing on except for a towel beneath my legs, screaming “I’m a horsie!” at the top of my lungs. He also saw the time I fell off the stage at my ballet recital, and the one-woman horror movie I attempted to make.
Daniel saw a whole new side of me. And I don’t think he was impressed.

Thank you mom, he probably isn’t going to call me.

We Can’t All Be Beyoncé

I hate the media. That’s right, I’ve said it. I hate it because of what it has created. The media has created a standard of which beauty is defined, and we’ve all conformed to it. We’ve all become followers of this fake convention of stick thin figures and perfectly aligned facial features.
We’ve been taught to hate what we see staring back at us in the mirror because we don’t live up to the expectations of society. We’re constantly reminded that we’re not good enough as we are because we’re not size 1 models with protruding cheekbones, or have a thigh gap when our feet are together.
But who has the right to tell society that we’re not enough? Why is it okay to set standards that people kill themselves over trying to reach?
I’m sick of hearing people say that they hate themselves because they don’t look a certain way.
I’m sick of watching friends cover up their mirrors because they can’t bare to look at themselves, or see them swallow back diet pills so they can finally get the attention they’re begging for.
What people don’t understand is that our bodies are temporary. They will age and they will wrinkle and sag. We won’t have them anymore. So why should we spend all this time being miserable with ourselves trying to obtain the perfect body, when we won’t have it in 10 years down the road? The only thing we will always have is ourselves. Not our bodies, but our minds and our hearts, our ideals, our morals, our memories. How can we appreciate them if they’re tainted with hatred and disapproval? We were not put on this earth to live up to impossible standards. We’re not here to lock ourselves in the bathroom so no one can hear us cry, or to skip meals because our calorie intake was too high. And we’re not here to spend our days comparing ourselves to the faces that take over the media.
I used to stand in front of the mirror with my shirt up just despising what I was seeing. I would count calories, not eat for days, and exercise until I’d feel like passing out just because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Just because that boy didn’t like me back, and because I didn’t fit into those skinny jeans, and because I wanted to be told I was beautiful by someone other than my mom. I wanted to feel the same love that those beautiful girls at school got because I craved approval.
But how can I get approval from others if I can’t get it from myself? I didn’t do anything wrong, but still, I felt like I would never be good enough, only because I didn’t fit the standards that the media set.
That’s the flaw in society. Conventions. We can’t let society tell us what we have to be because it’s the same society that preaches for peace, but endorses war. The same society that says abortion is wrong, yet judges teen parents. We live in the same society that promotes the freedom of education, yet increases tuition every year. Society is clueless. So why are we still listening? Why are we trying so hard to live up to standards in a society that can’t even live up to its own? We are so willing to accept the flaws of society, but not of ourselves. Ironic.

What we’re not told often enough is that we are perfect, and we are amazing, and good, and flawless. We are all those things because we’re real and we exist and we breathe and we live.
Look back to all of those times that people broke you down, to those times you cried yourself to sleep or tried to run away, or had every reason to break down, but you cracked a smile.
You have gone through hell and back, and you’re still here. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that worth anything at all? Hell couldn’t tear you down, and neither should the media’s standards. Nothing should tell us what we should look like, or how we should act, or what we should do. We are the makers of our own lives and we deserve to make a fucking happy one.
So next time you see a slice of cake with your name on it, eat it. It’s fucking delicious. Who the hell has the right to care about how you maintain your body? You’re gorgeous. And you always will be. You’ll be the one laughing when people lose their figures with age, and regret not enjoying life, because you only have one. You’ll be the one looking back on the days you made count because you made choices that made you happy, regardless of what everyone else thought. Because in the end, you’ve accepted that not everyone can be Beyoncé, but you can be just as good, or even better just by perfectly being you.

My Formal Un-Apology

I dated this boy off and on for two and a half years, and recently, our entire relationship exploded like an Angel Food Cake with too much Baking Powder. I loved him, I have no doubt about that. He was my world, and I was certain that he was my future as well.

Like many other love stories, it came to its tragic end. He fell for another girl and left me in his dust. Yes, I tried doing the impossible and stayed friends with him. It lasted about a month before he kissed me in his car. That kiss was followed by dinners and movie dates, as well as many other kisses in between. Evidently, I found myself as the ‘other woman’ in his relationship. But there was a part of me that was okay with that. He came to me when he needed someone. He came to me when he wanted to be around someone he could be himself with. But with that, there came other intentions. I found myself spiraling down, back into love with the boy I just desperately needed to get over. But I couldn’t, and neither could he. There was something about him that kept me holding onto our past relationship.

In my situation, I was the girl on the side. I had only a shred of what I craved, and that was enough for me. His girlfriend has everything. Has his heart, has his mind, has his body. And him, he had the best of both worlds.

He was everything to me. Every shred of my being needed him. Wanted him. Craved him.

That fateful day came when she gave him an ultimatum. Her or me. It was his choice. By this time, they had been dating for 7 months. To my surprise, he chose her. He willingly gave away everything we had, for a girl he’d known for 7 months.

And so, I apologized and I walked away. And it broke me.

But really, I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry for chasing the boy I was in love with. I’m not sorry for fighting as hard as I could to keep what meant everything to me. I don’t regret it. Because for those few moments, I held my world in my arms, and I held on as tightly as I could.

Yeah, it hurts that he chose her, and it hurts to see his Twitter updates about how happy he is. But at least I feel it. I feel it, and for that, I know it’s real. I know that I love him because it hurt that much. And I can find comfort in that.

Signing off,

Amanda Kelly

The Problem With Love

Finding love is like having a good hair day. It’s so rare, and so great, that you just feel like a model. But after some time, due to the humidity outside and the activities that create your day, your head begins to look like it was used as a mop.

That’s the same thing with love. It’s hard to find someone so perfect, that you can’t find a single flaw in their existence. And once you do find them, you think, “Man, this person is fucking awesome. I wouldn’t mind sharing my Kraft Dinner with them and maybe having a make out session on the couch later.” So that’s what you do. Everything is so perfect that you think it’s too good to be true. And unfortunately, it is. When everything is at it’s highest point, it all comes crashing down. After waiting to find that perfect person that you’re actually okay with seeing every single day, they just walk away with no reason whatsoever. And they don’t end things in a good way either. No, they usually start with, “We need to talk”, or, “I think you’re ugly”, or even, “Stop stalking me or I’ll call the cops.” And once that happens, you’re compelled to searching the house for a spoon and scarfing down that ice cream for six days straight in a giant sweater and track pants thinking, “Why me?”

That’s just the thing. There’s no answer to that question. I don’t know why my ex boyfriend left me after two and a half years over a text message. I don’t know why I had to find out that he cheated on his new girlfriend with a dude. These things just happen.

All you can do is eat that ice cream like a caveman, let the mascara tears run down your face until raccoons adopt you into their family, and listen to those sappy love songs over and over wondering why you didn’t by them flowers, hold their hand, give them all your hours when you had the chance, or take them to every party because all they wanted to do was dance.

The only good thing about a break up is getting back on your feet. Changing your look, buying the sexiest outfit you can afford on a Tim Horton’s employee salary, and taking those duck faced selfies with captions that say, “2 Fab 4 U” and “0v3r 1t” like we did in grade school. Because when it all comes down to it, girls with asses like yours don’t go out with guys with faces like his.

Signing off,

Amanda Kelly